An Ikeja Special Offences Court has sentenced a student, Glory Pelumi, to six months imprisonment following his guilty plea to two counts of cheating and possession of fraudulent documents.
In her judgement, Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo, however, gave the convict an option of a N200,000 fine in lieu of imprisonment.
Earlier, the prosecutor for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nnameka Omewa, told the court that the anti-graft agency had, sometime in January, received an intelligence report about the activities of internet fraudsters.
He said that based on the report, EFCC operatives carried out surveillance at Zira Hotel, Lekki, Lagos and some suspects, including the defendant, were arrested.
Omewa said the defendant was brought to the office and cautioned and he volunteered his statement.
“Items found on him at the point of arrest include a silver coloured Dell Laptop, a gold-coloured Samsung S10 phone and a silver-coloured Toyota Camry car with registration GWA 78 BL,” Omewa said.
The EFCC prosecutor said the defendant, in his confessional statement, admitted to engaging in internet fraud and that items recovered from him were proceeds of the crime.
Omewa tendered the recovered items to the court as exhibits.
The defence counsel, Olayinka Lamina, did not object to tendering of the exhibits.
In his plea for mercy, Lamina told the court to sentence the defendant to community service or an option of a fine.
He said the defendant had become remorseful and vowed not to return to crime.
“The defendant is a first-time offender and has learnt his lesson. As I speak, his father is in hospital for shock treatment.
“I plead with the court to temper justice with mercy and give the defendant a second chance,” he said.
Pointing out that internet fraud is on the increase in society, the prosecution urged the court to impose a sentence on the defendant that would serve as deterrence to others.